By Margaret Smith
Artist Joseph O. Lewis didn’t set out to help preserve that history, but that is part of his mysterious legacy.
Indian Hill Music in Littleton is hosting an exhibit of Lewis lithographs, on loan from a collection at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard.
The exhibit,” Joseph O. Lewis: Lithographs of American Indians, 1825 to 1827,” consists of eight lithographs from the 44 in Fruitlands’ collection, chosen for artistic merit as well as the insight they provide to native dress and culture.
They are believed to be the first published lithograph portraits of indigenous American peoples.
Exhibit organizers hope the exhibit will help break down these stereotypes and foster understanding of the diversity of native culture.
I've written before about how the Plains Indian stereotypes didn't become commonplace until the mid-19th century. This posting confirms that point. For more on the subject, see A Brief History of Native Stereotyping.
Below: Waa-Na-Taa, or, The Foremost in Battle, chief of the Sioux tribe, by Joseph O. Lewis.